There’s nothing sadder than watching a legendary arena being demolished. For diehard sports fans, arenas, parks, and stadiums hold powerful sentimental value. Many can remember their first time entering the gates, wide-eyed and awe-struck by the sheer size of the place; the energy of the crowds.
Some stadiums are knocked down because of safety issues. Some are knocked down to make way for a new stadium with higher occupancy. Whatever the case, we often like to remember the settings for our favorite sports memories.
Let’s look back at some of the past sports stadiums.
Philly locals will remember the Spectrum, a legendary indoor arena that hosted both professional sports and concerts. Opened in 1967, the Spectrum was the site of NBA All-Star games, NCAA Final Four matchups, the Stanley Cup finals, and many a soccer championship. Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, and Bruce Springsteen all rocked the crowds at the Spectrum.
In Motor City, there was the Olympia. Located at the corner of Grand River and McGraw avenues, the "The Old Red Barn" was constructed in 1927 to host the Detroit Red Wings (then called the Cougars). Besides Madison Square Garden, it boasted the highest occupancy number in the United States. From 1957 to 1961, the Detroit Pistons called the Olympia home. The Beatles and Led Zeppelin both played there.
The St. Louis Arena inched its way between the Olympia and Madison Square Garden when it was constructed in 1929. It was home to various teams, including the St. Louis Blues, the Spirits of St. Louis, and the St. Louis Stars. A tornado in 1959 seriously damaged the roof, but the arena held on, making repairs and hosting games and concerts up until 1994.
And then there was the Seattle Kingdome, a glorious arena opened in 1976, finally giving professional leagues in Seattle a home. The Seahawks, the Mariners, and the SuperSonics all played at the Kingdome. With a peak occupancy of 66,000 fans, the Kingdome hosted impressive crowds. The Who, U2, and the Beach Boys all took the stage there.
There’s something so nostalgic about thinking back to stadiums of the past. Whether the arenas were the site of happy memories or painful losses, for a shining moment in time, those arenas were home.